News and Reviews: Real Weddings Magazine

Real Weddings Magazine

Real Weddings Mini-Moon:
Beach House Hotel, Half Moon Bay

January 17th, 2011

My husband and I have always been beach lovers. Rain, shine, wind or cold, we'd rather be at the beach than anywhere else (you should have seen us on our honeymoon, lying on a Caribbean beach in the pouring rain)!

Being Sacramento residents, we've always thought that we had to drive to Southern California to enjoy the beach — that is, until we recently discovered Half Moon Bay.

Montara Beach


Just 25 miles past San Francisco and you're there! Half Moon Bay has it all from world-class surfing (have you heard of the Big Kahunas at Maverick's?), fine dining, luxurious accommodations, a plethora of outdoor activities and a charming historic downtown to complete the "beach-town" vibe.

Recommended Resort: Beach House Hotel, Half Moon Bay. Let me start this off by saying, "We love, love, love this hotel!" The Beach House Hotel has thought of everything when it comes to making their guests feel right at home.

With amenities like free WiFi, complimentary bottled waters, a fully stocked kitchenette, a wood-burning fireplace, comfy goose-down comforters and (my personal favorite) Aveda bath products, it was hard to leave.

Beach House Hotel pool

The Beach House Hotel also offers a variety of complimentary perks (yes, that means gift with purchase!), including: a wine and cheese reception on Friday and Saturday evenings, continental breakfast, heated outdoor pool and spa overlooking the ocean, and did I mention the complimentary Internet access?!

Beach House Hotel balcony view

Our room had the most breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Pillar Point Harbor. With a private deck right above the beach, we really didn’t have any reason to leave. We got to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the ocean from our patio — all with the comforts of our hotel suite just a couple steps away.

Kayaking near Pillar Point Harbor

Check In: Beach House Hotel. 4100 North Cabrillo Highway in Half Moon Bay. 800-315-9366,

Check Out: The couples’ massage at the Beach House Spa. Join your honey for a little side-by-side rest and relaxation. If you’re looking for a more active way to clear your mind, the spa also offers private yoga sessions in the privacy of your own room! How cool is that?

Don’t Miss:Sam’s Chowder House. Just a short walk from The Beach House Hotel along a paved beach front path and you’ve arrived at a critically acclaimed restaurant offering fresh, local seafood cuisine.

Sam's Cioppino

Sam's Lobster

Sam’s Chowder House is a complete dining experience. Not only is the food delicious, but the views are spectacular, the service is outstanding and the live music (on Friday and Saturday nights) creates a fun, upbeat atmosphere.

Ocean view dining at Sam's Chowder House

Sam's Chowder House romantic oceanfront dining

We’re definitely coming back to enjoy the dog-friendly outdoor patio. I’m looking forward to pulling up an Adirondack chair, sitting by the fire pit with a cocktail and enjoying the ocean views. The coolest part about this is that we can check out the weather before we head over. Sam’s Chowder House offers a live “SamCam” on their Web site,

On a side note, not only are the Beach House Hotel and Sam’s Chowder House great mini-moon destinations, they both offer really cool wedding and reception facilities as well. If you’re looking for a Northern California, beach front wedding location, be sure to check these places out!

Blog Post by Aimee Carroll, Resident Girl Tested-Bride Approved columnist.

Photos courtesy of Beach House Hotel, Half Moon Bay, Sam’s Chowder House and Half Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce & Visitors’ Bureau.